NEA Celebrates Folk and Traditional Arts at Free Concert
Washington, DC—With art forms ranging from blues music to Japanese classical dancing to Cambodian ceramics, the 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows are recipients of our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts and represent the diversity and richness of our nation’s cultural heritage. At two events in Washington, DC, October 1-2, 2015 – a free concert and an awards ceremony– the National Endowment for the Arts will celebrate these artists and provide opportunities for the public to learn more about them and their traditions. Both events are open to the public and managed by the National Council for the Traditional Arts.
Members of the media who wish to attend the concert, awards ceremony, or request photographs or video from either event should contact Liz Auclair at email@example.com.
NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert
The 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will take place Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium. Marco Werman, host of Public Radio International and BBC’s The World, will emcee this event, which will feature performances and craft demonstrations by the 2015 Heritage Fellows, including master oud player Rahim AlHaj; musician Michael Alpert with Jewish music ensemble Brave Old World; an aerial performance by circus artist Dolly Jacobs; demonstrations by renowned quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama; as well as blues music, Japanese classical dancing, Cambodian ceramic arts, and Slovak straw weaving and egg decorating.
Attend in person:
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will be held at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium at 730 21st Street NW in Washington, DC, on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET. Free tickets to this concert are available online at Lisner.gwu.edu or in person at George Washington University's Lisner Auditorium Box Office at 730 21st Street NW in Washington, DC, and the House of Musical Traditions at 7010 Westmoreland Avenue in Takoma Park, Maryland. PLEASE NOTE: Ticket-holders should arrive by 7:45 p.m. At that time, all empty seats will be released to those in the stand-by line.
Watch the live webcast:
The NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert will be live streamed at arts.gov with an archive available following the event. Viewers can share comments and photos on Twitter using the hashtag #NEAHeritage15. You may also request copies of the concert program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, the 2015 National Heritage Fellows will be spotlighted in an episode of public radio's American Routes the week of Thanksgiving. The episode will feature performances from the concert and interviews with the artists as well as music and conversations with previous recipients of National Heritage Fellowships. For more information, go to americanroutes.org in November 2015.
NEA National Heritage Fellowships Awards Ceremony
The NEA also will honor the 2015 Heritage Fellows at an awards ceremony on Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. ET in the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium in the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street SE in Washington, DC. NEA Chairman Jane Chu and Members of Congress will present the awards to the recipients, who will give short remarks. Following the ceremony, there will be a reception with the artists. This event is open to the public and no tickets are required.
The 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellows are:
- Rahim AlHaj (Albuquerque, NM) — oud player & composer
- Michael Alpert (New York, NY) — Yiddish musician and tradition bearer
- Mary Lee Bendolph, Lucy Mingo, and Loretta Pettway, (Boykin, AL) — quilters of Gee's Bend
- Dolly Jacobs (Sarasota, FL) — circus aerialist
- Yary Livan (Lowell, MA) — Cambodian ceramicist
- Daniel Sheehy* (Falls Church, VA) — ethnomusicologist/folklorist
- Drink Small (Columbia, SC) — blues artist
- Gertrude Yukie Tsutsumi (Honolulu, HI) — Japanese classical dancer
- Sidonka Wadina (Lyons, WI) — Slovak straw artist/egg decorator
*Daniel Sheehy is the recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award. The Bess Lomax Hawes Award recognizes an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.
Profiles of the artists are available in the Lifetime Honors section of the NEA’s website, along with photos and audio and video samples of their work.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
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Liz Auclair, 202-682-5744, email@example.com